Christmas Traditions ~ Sandra Owens

posted in: Sandra Owens | 14

Christmas - stockings Growing up, my family’s Christmas tradition was that on Christmas Eve, we (us five kids) got to have our stockings. Inside there was always an orange, some candy, and a toy—usually a puzzle of some kind that would keep us busy until bedtime.

The next morning, whichever of us kids woke up first would wake the others and we’d sneak into the living room to get a peek at what Santa had left under the tree. Sometimes there would be something not wrapped and we’d try to guess whose it was. We never went closer than a few feet to the tree, then we’d scramble back to bed and pretend to be asleep when our father came to wake us.

Christmas - peeking Now I’m going to admit to something that I’ve never told anyone. When I reached my teens, when no one was around, I’d carefully open presents with my name on them to see what was inside, then just as carefully rewrap them. This may be relative to my reading the end of a book first, but I’m not sure if there’s any correlation on that. 🙂

Sneaky me was still doing that after Jim and I married…until he caught me one time. Now he puts so much tape on my presents I’d have to tear the wrapping to get into them. Mean man.

When our son was small, we decided Christmas Day was all about him, so my husband and I started a tradition of having our Christmas after he went to bed on Christmas Eve. Jim first makes me a dinner of steak Diane and twice baked potatoes while I sit with my glass of wine and watch him flambé the steaks. Even after all these years, I’m still impressed when he lights that pan on fire. If I tried that, I’d end up burning the kitchen down.

After a delicious, romantic dinner, Jim and I open our presents using only the illumination of the tree lights and the fire in the fireplace. We take turns opening them, and I get a few extra turns, as there’s always more presents under the tree for me, something that makes both of us happy. He likes giving me presents and I like getting them. To this day, we still have our steak Diane dinner and Christmas Eve present opening even though our son is grown and married. Although I can no longer get away with peeking at my presents, I do shake them and test their weight.

Christmas - tree Christmas is a time of giving, and there is nothing more gratifying than seeing a child’s eyes light up at the sight of a decorated tree, or presents, or even food. Each year there are toy runs, or fund raising activities to help families in need. I have seen children get as excited at seeing a ham or turkey among the gifts delivered as when seeing a toy, and it is always both sad and heartwarming. It is also a reminder to be thankful for all our blessings.

I’ll end this by wishing those who celebrate a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all!

Christmas - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year



I’d love to hear about your Christmas traditions.



10628135_681865348587646_555703573455878514_nTrivia Question: What does my husband make me for Christmas Eve dinner? (Enter your answer in the Trivia form at the top right of this page for a chance to win the awesome gift basket we are giving away Christmas Eve.)

14 Responses

  1. Hanny

    There’s a lot to be grateful for! I wished I kept the faith like a child. You gave me a beautiful little story again, dear Sandra! Love for you and yours!

  2. Barbara Monajem

    LOL. As I child, I got so excited that I hardly slept the night before Christmas. I would creep downstairs at 2 or 3 a.m. to see what Santa Claus had brought. I even opened a few gifts that had been sitting there for days, tempting me.

    • Sandra Owens

      Did you get in trouble, Barbara, for opening those gifts? Honestly, in a way, Christmas is torture for children. 😀

  3. Collette Cameron

    When my kids were little (actually the first couple of years of college too) they would get a special little something in their stockings each day in December from Santa’s elves if they were good.

    When they went off to college, they expected to have their treats accumulated in their stockings when they got home for the break.

    I discontinued the tradition a couple of years ago, but my 23-year-old still squawks that he got the short end of the stick because he didn’t get to do it as long. He actually looked in his stocking several times this year to see if there were treats for him!

  4. JoannaM

    Sandra, my siblings and even my mom tried to pick at their gifts from me but never knew which was theirs because I wrote my own code word instead of their names. Every year they would make fun of me because of my tactics but they never guessed what they got until they actually opened it!! LOL

    • Sandra Owens

      Oh, you’re clever, Joanna! I love how devious you are. 🙂

  5. killian1954

    That is funny about the presents, I have a son who did the same thing. Merry Christmas

  6. jessicajefferson

    I’m a peeker. I can’t resist. My 9yr old is pretty good about not messing with the presents under the tree but the 3yr old…last year she ran down the stairs and opened all the gifts I’d wrapped the night before. Unfortunately, it was a random Tuesday and not Christmas morning.